A short month and yet jam-packed full of movies and TV shows! Some good, some bad. Let's review:
Love is Blind Season 2
This show is so freaking addicting, I hate it (but also, I love it). Unlike season 1, which brought us the iconic pairing that is Cameron and Lauren, I’m not sure if any of this season’s couples are in it for the long haul, but it’s fun to watch them try. Once again, there’s a basic white dude who is objectively a horrible person that two girls are fighting over anyway, plus a bunch of mismatched couples that are already regretting their choices. I am a bit disappointed to see the show attempt to add in plus-size contestants only to give them next to zero screen time, as I’d like to see a show that supposedly confronts the idea that love can transcend superficial judgments and stereotypes embrace contestants that aren’t “conventionally attractive”, but there’s plenty of drama to satisfy my need for low-stakes TV watching.
The Originals Seasons 1 and 2
Following my Vampire Diaries binge, I've moved onto its New Orleans-based spinoff that follows the original family of vampires and their friends and enemies. As it follows adult characters, it's more mature and darker than TVD, but still with plenty of angsty romances, vampire brawls, and yeah, lots of blood sucking. I really enjoy how The Originals embraces the voodoo mysticism and history of its New Orleans setting. Reminds me of why I enjoyed American Horror Story: Coven despite its flaws.
Sweet Magnolias Season 1
The Gilded Age Season 1*
Severance (began season 1)*
This show is weird and I like it. Only 3 episodes in but it presents some really fascinating ideas about work-life balance taken to the extreme. It's Black Mirror meets Mad Men meets...well, you know what? You should just watch.
* Week-to-week shows
Also watching: The Righteous Gemstones
The Tinder Swindler (2022, dir. Felicity Morris)
I love a scammer. I might have been swayed by the Swindler's whirlwind dates, but the second he asked for money I would have said, "Peace out."
Death on the Nile (2022, dir. Kenneth Branagh)
It’s the Kenneth Branagh-directed feature everyone is talking about right now…Death on the Nile! This movie has an insanely cursed cast and for a good two years I thought it was just going to get shelved forever, but I can now confirm that it does indeed exist and it’s a fun time if you can get past the Arm*e H*mmer of it all. Lean into the camp of Hercule Poirot’s mustache, enjoy the sumptuous locales and at-times ridiculous green screens, and treat yourself to enough champagne to fill the Nile! Everyone else is talking Spider-verse this, MCU that, but I’m here for the Hercule Poirot Cinematic Universe.
Marry Me (2022, dir. Kat Coiro)
JLo is a star and that's all I care about. I hope the songs from this get nominated for Oscars.
Uncharted (2022, dir. Ruben Fleischer)
A fine action-adventure flick with the charismatic Tom Holland as the lead and an incredibly annoying Mark Wahlberg. I have literally no knowledge of the video games this movie is based on, so I have no strong feelings about if it was a "faithful adaptation" or not. I will say that the art historian in me wept over the treatment of several centuries-old artifacts during this movie.
Dog (2022, dir. Channing Tatum & Reid Carolin)
What can I say, Channing Tatum is one of the most reliable stars of our time, and I was pleasantly surprised by this aptly-named dog movie that was thoughtful and full of heart in its portrayal of the healing power of the bond between a man and his dog. Also, Lulu (the titular dog) is just adorable. Give her all the treats.
Cyrano (2021, dir. Joe Wright)
Peter Dinklage singing songs by The National is such a perfect fit. Ever since Anna Karenina I've gotten the sense that Joe Wright has longed to put on a musical (or at least a play) so I'm glad he got to embrace his theatricality with this adaptation.